Saturday, June 30, 2018

THE LANGUAGE OF STARS by Louise Howes.  New York:  Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2016.  356p.  ISBN: 978-481462419 hc. $17.99   Gr. 9-12   YA FIC

Sarah finds herself at a "beginning of summer" party, thrown by her boyfriend, Fry, the most popular boy in school.  The party is at the most famous location in town, the cottage of Rufus Baylor, a famous poet.  When the cottage is destroyed, the teens are charged with manually repairing the cottage and attending a class on poetry appreciation - taught by Rufus himself.  Sarah learns a lot about herself, her family, and what is important in her life, during the weeks that she attends class and completes her community service.  Sarah is a very relatable character, revealing a mixture of teen priorities and self-growth.
Melissa Coyne, Reader, Munising Public Library

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

More reviews from previously published books...2015 to be exact.

THE START OF ME AND YOU by Emery Lord.  New York:  Bloomsbury, 2015. 373p.  ISBN: 978-1-61963-359-9 hc. $17.99     Gr. 9-12    YA FIC

Paige is trying to recover from the loss of her boyfriend, Ryan, and regain a sense of normalcy that she hasn't had for the past year. She decides to make a PLAN for a normal life, just like she plans everything else in her life, from outfits to studying. However, Ryan's cousin, Max, moves back to town and his presence in her life throws all of her plans out the window. Can she get back to a normal life with all of the changes that come along with her friendship with Max?  Can you restart your life after an unforeseen tragedy changes everything?
Melissa Coyne, Reader, Munising Public Library

THERE WILL BE LIES by Nick Lake.  New York:  Bloomsbury, 2015.  454p.  ISBN: 978-1-61963-440-4 hc. $17.99    Gr. 9-12    YA FIC

Shelby Cooper is a 17 year-old with a rather normal, if somewhat quirky, life. Her mother has some unusual rules for her. When she is hit by a car outside the library, her whole life changes. Her mother packs them up and takes them on a "vacation", which raises many questions in Shelby's mind. Will Shelby ever get the truth from her mother?  Plot twists and and turns keep readers guessing about what will happen next.
Melissa Coyne, Reader, Munising Public Library

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

LONG WAY DOWN by Jason Reynolds.  New York: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 2017. 320p.  ISBN 978-1481438254 hc. $17.99    Gr. 9-12  YA FIC
This impactful story is written in verse to make it truly accessible to avid readers and occasional readers, alike.  The message is that important.  Readers are introduced to fifteen-year-old Will whose older brother has just been shot in the street.  Will doesn’t run with a gang, has never held a gun, but knows the rules….“No crying.  No snitching.  Revenge.”  Almost instinctively, he searches his dead brother’s room for the gun he knows is there and heads for the elevator to do what he feels he must do next.  In his haste to descend from his seventh floor apartment, Will’s elevator slowly stops at each floor to let on a new passenger.  Each new passenger on the elevator is a person from Will’s past.  Each one is a victim of gun violence.  They all have stories that clarify and tie into Will’s life story, letting him see the larger picture of choices, actions and consequences.  The simple technology of the elevator provides the perfect vehicle for this open-ended story of redemption or revenge.  Will must make that choice.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

AFTER THE FALL: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat.    New York: Roaring Book Press, 2017. 32p. ISBN 978-162672-6826 hc. $17.99     Gr. K-2     E PIC

Just like the nursery rhyme, this story starts out when Humpty Dumpty has a great fall.  This time, however, the king’s men at the hospital were able to put him together again.  His shell soon healed, but emotional scars set in.  The fear of falling - from any elevation - soon changed Humpty’s daily routines, causing him to miss out on his favorite activities, especially bird watching.  With some paper, tape, and glue, Humpty built paper models of birds, and modified them and adjusted them and tried to make them fly until he “got it just right.”  His determination and success with simple technology prompted Humpty to conquer his fear of falling, and he soon climbed back up that same wall he fell from.  Enjoy Santat’s fabulous art, which is half of the storytelling experience.  Readers will “crack up” at the surprise ending!
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

MARCH FORWARD, GIRL by Melba Pattillo Beals.  New York:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2018) 214p. ISBN 978-132888212-7 hc. $16.99   YA 323.092 BE

One of the original “Little Rock Nine” who attended a white high school in Little Rock, Arkansas from in 1957, Beals grew up in segregation.  Whites and blacks had separate schools, neighborhoods, drinking fountains, and churches.  Blacks were out of slavery, but still employed and underpaid by whites, denied the same quality of education as whites, and expected to be subservient to whites.  Beals narrates stories of her childhood and her family’s decision to send her to Central High School’s first year of integrated classes.  The group of nine students was escorted to and from school by soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Kentucky until the end of the school year.  At that time, the Ku Klux Klan threatened the lives of the students, so their families sent them out of state to finish school.  This group was finally recognized with Congressional Gold Medals in 1999 for their bravery in the fight for equality. 
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI